Saturday, November 27, 2010

I'm Engaged!!!

Well, I hope that all of your Thanksgivings were great! Mine was especially amazing because Kevin and I got engaged!

We are so excited and wanted to share the news! We head back home from our wonderful holiday weekend tomorrow :( where we'll get back to reality!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

HTML Mishap!

Well, I just discovered a slight typo in my email link. I'm still new to the HTML programming part of all of this, but learning as I go! Anyway, if you've attempted to email me, I'm so sorry. The problem is fixed and we are back in business!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgivng. I sure did (more to come on that soon).

For now, goodnight.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Party in the Park

A few months back we threw a party in the park for our staff at work. It turned out pretty cool and I wanted to share a couple of the pictures with you.

We had a really nice day. The weather cooperated, there were games, beer and delicious food from MIHO Catering and Viva Pops. I highly recommend you check out both if ever you are in SD! Yum.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mango Chicken Curry

I've recently discovered the amazingness that is curry and a few months ago tried my hand at making it for the very first time. I've now made this Mango Chicken Curry recipe several times and I have to say, I'm getting pretty darn good at it.

It's kind of a labor of love, but totally worth the work.

Here are a few tips from my kitchen:
I cube and pre-sear the chicken before adding it into the sauce to ensure that it is fully cooked and to help lock in the moisture. I also skip the cilantro (Kevin's not a huge fan), add cayenne powder to increase the heat and use coconut milk rather than heavy cream. Lastly, I serve the curry over basmati rice with slivered almonds to add a bit of a crunch. Don't skip the golden raisins! They add just the right amount of sweet to this spicy (in my kitchen) and savory dish!
  • 3 Tbsp (or more) of vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 1/2 to 2 cups)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
  • 2 Tbsp yellow curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • (optional 1 Tbsp of cayenne powder for heat or to taste)
  • 2 mangos, peeled and diced
  • 2 Tbsp cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/4 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (can substitute all or partially with coconut milk)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cilantro for garnish
 1 Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and another tablespoon of oil, cook for a couple more minutes. Add the curry powder and cumin (and optional cayenne powder), cook for a few more minutes. The spices will absorb some of the oil, so if anything begins to stick too much to the bottom of the pan, add a little more oil to the pan. Add the ginger and garlic, cook for one minute more.

2 Add the vinegar, water, and a 1/2 of the chopped mango to the pan. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain a low simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat. Scoop the sauce into a blender (or use an immersion blender). Purée the sauce, pulsing until smooth. Return the sauce to the pan.

 3 Add chicken pieces and raisins to the pan. Return to a low simmer. Cover the pan and let cook for 8-10 minutes. Chicken should be just cooked through. Use a knife to cut open the largest piece to check.
4 Add remaining mango pieces to the pan. Stir in the cream or coconut milk. Let cook at a very low temperature for another minute or two, uncovered. Do not let boil! Or the cream may curdle. Adjust seasonings. If a little too sweet, add a little more vinegar. If not sweet enough, you can add a dash of sugar. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over rice. Garnish with cilantro. Serves 4.

(Note: The last time I made this, I added chopped fingerling potatoes which added another texture and buttery flavor to the curry. If you do this, either par cook the potatoes before adding them to the sauce, or be prepared to let it simmer for about 15-20 until the potatoes cook through.)


Mmmmmmm, my mouth is watering just thinking about this one again, enjoy!

Boca Do Lobo

I just came across this insanely cool Mondrian sideboard by Boca Do Lobo and I have to admit, I am slightly obsessed! This piece is so chic and truly takes eclectic to a whole new level! Read the full article on the 3Rings blog here.

"The company fuses old world handcrafting with modern age aesthetics to produce artistic pieces of furniture: 'BL’s furniture is an exclusive emotional experience, a sense of belonging and a state of mind.'” Quote and photos via 3Rings.

Oh, and it comes in white too! So hot!

Check out the full BL collection here. I'm seriously drooling. This furniture is so beautiful.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Practice What You Preach

I often tell people that you can find inspiration just about anywhere. In fact, a couple of months ago I did an entry about finding inspiration in photos of doors. This week I decided it was time to practice what I preach and show you just what I mean. I created a mood board for a dining room inspired by the color, texture and style of the door below.

The Inspiration
The Rustic Inspired Dining Room

Monday, November 8, 2010

Luxurious Luminaries

Last month when I was trolling through the Elle Decor archives I pulled a bunch of gorgeous chandeliers for my inspiration files. Here are a few of the more interesting ones.

The lively, coral chandelier and wall sconce add the finishing touches to this beautiful, blue room.
This twiggy light fixture adds a sense of whimsy in this texture filled room.
Why not wire? I just want to sit and sip lemonade on a spring afternoon in this space!
If I had this room, I'd make sure I had a nice stableboy to go along with it.
This dining room is to die for! It's a perfect blend of styles and the chandelier is the icing on the cake.
I adore the hand blown orbs on this gorgeous, golden light fixture.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Now Open for Business!

Check out my recently updated "Services" page for a list of services now being offered.

Services include:

  • Inspiration Assistance
  • Design Planning
  • Full Service Design
  • Color Consultation
  • Space Planning
  • Interior Spruce-Ups
  • De-Cluttering and Organization
  • Party Planning

I look forward to hearing from you about your project soon!

("Open" sign photo from

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ichabod Crane - The Headless Zeusman

I couldn't resist because he's just so darn cute! Zeus likes to stick his head in things like boxes and baskets; anything that might offer a chance of spotting a reflection. A few days before Halloween, he stuck his head right into this plastic pumpkin!

It's the little things they do that make our animals such an intergral part of our happiness!

Hope you had a Happy Halloween.

Harvest Chili

I've made this easy and delicious Veg-Head Three-Bean Chili by Rachael Ray now twice and it is so good, I just had to share it! It's a vegetarian chili that calls for refried beans to thicken it. I add a pound of ground turkey to ours for a different texture and a little meat!

(Health Tip: When you buy the beans, canned tomatoes and stock be sure to get the lower sodium kind to help make your chili even more healthy.)

The Ingredients:
1 lb lean ground turkey
2 tablespoons (2 turns around the pan) olive or vegetable oil
1 medium yellow skinned onion, chopped
1 large red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 large green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1 cup pale beer or vegetable stock/broth
1 (32- ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (14-ounce) can black beans
1 (14-ounce) can dark red kidney beans
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cayenne hot pepper sauce, several drops
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup spicy vegetarian refried beans

The Directions:
Brown the turkey with part of the onion and garlic over medium heat. Set aside. Add oil to a deep pot and combine remaining onion, garlic and chopped peppers and saute for 3 to 5 minutes over medium heat until soft. De-glaze pan with beer or broth, add tomatoes, black beans, red kidney beans (I threw in a can of whole pinto beans as well) and cooked turkey, stirring to combine.

Season with cumin, chili powder, hot sauce (I use Cholula and cayenne pepper to get a good heat), and salt. Thicken chili by stirring in refried beans. Simmer over low heat about 5 to 10 minutes longer. Check the heat to taste and add more cayenne or hot sauce if needed.

Serve up bowls of chili and top with shredded cheese, scallions, and light sour cream. I also made quick biscuits to go along with ours. In the words of Rachael Ray, "Yum-O!"

A perfect dish for a chili fall afternoon!